Society of Early Americanists Conferences

The SEA hosts annual conferences. In odd-numbered years, the Society hosts an open-topic general conference known as the Biennial Conference. In even-numbered years, it hosts Special Topics conferences. The SEA also sponsors panels at our affiliated societies: the American Literature Association & the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Forthcoming Conferences

The Society of Early Americanists Tenth Biennial Conference, Tulsa, Oklahoma, March 2-4, 2017

The 2017 SEA Biennial will be anchored in downtown Tulsa, with special events at the University of Tulsa’s Helmerich Center for American Research at the Gilcrease Museum of the Americas. There will be an optional field trip to the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah and a tour of the Tulsa Race Riot Memorial & Greenwood District (site of the 1921 race riot). Proposals for traditional or experimental format sessions on all aspects of early America are welcome, but we will be especially attentive to the question of the public in early America as well as the public place of early American studies today. Optional public outreach activities, especially involving local schools and teachers, will be available to interested attendees. There will be travel fellowships for graduate students & adjunct faculty, schoolteachers, tribal historians and curators. Plenary speakers will include Prof. William Warner of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

For more information about the conference, please see the SEA 2017 conference website here.

Thank you!

Laura Stevens
SEA President, 2015-17
Associate Professor of English
The University of Tulsa

Image Credit: Detail of the present-day Oklahoma region from Thomas Jefferys’ American Atlas: or, a Geographical Description of the Whole Continent of America (1776), courtesy of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives, McFarlin Library, the University of Tulsa.

The Society of Early Americanists Workshop and Symposium: Indigenous Archives in the Digital Age: Celebrating The Occom Circle, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 9-11, 2016

SEA Workshop and Symposium: Indigenous Archives in the Digital Age: Celebrating The Occom Circle
Co-directors: Ellen Cushman (Northeastern), Elizabeth Maddock Dillon (Northeastern), and Ivy Schweitzer (Dartmouth).
Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, September 9-11, 2016

Digital archives of Indigenous materials have enriched our notions of texts and what counts as Native writing, but raise questions of ownership and control. This workshop and symposium will celebrate The Occom Circle and other indigenous digital archives by exploring the multiple modalities of Indigenous histories and texts and their remediation through digital means. How can archives be turned into living places—that is, how can they serve community interests of Indigenous survivance? How might we understand the multiple literacies of Indigenous communities and how does that reshape our conception of literary history? 

The program will offer a keynote address by Tim Powell, Director of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR) and Rick Hill, director of the Deyohaha:ge: Indigenous Knowledge Centre at Six Nations Polytechnic in Ontario. There will be two plenary panels. Confirmed speakers include: Damián Baca (University of Arizona), Jason Lewis (Concordia University), Kim Christen Withey (Washington State University). There will be an exhibit of documents from the Occom and Wheelock Papers at Dartmouth, exhibits of recent and ongoing digital archives as well as hands-on workshops teaching DH skills. Attendees will be able to visit the Occom and Eleazar Wheelock papers in Dartmouth’s Special Collections. A tour of the Orozco Murals and a stroll around Occom Pond will be part of the conference activities. Please send any questions about the workshop to Ellen Cushman (, Elizabeth Maddock Dillon (, or Ivy Schweitzer ( Thank you.

Image Credit: Images courtesy of The Occom Circle, Dartmouth College; and Manuscripts Relating to Samson Occom and Eleazar Wheelock’s Early Indian Students, Rauner Special Collections, Dartmouth College Library and used by permission.

The American Literature Association, 27th annual conference, San Francisco, May 26-29, 2016

The Society of Early Americanists will be sponsoring the following three sessions at the next ALA conference in San Francisco:

Friday, May 27, 2016: 9:40 – 11:00 am
Session 8-I Globalizing the American Revolution: A Round Table
Organized by the Society of Early Americanists

Chair: Nancy Ruttenburg, Stanford University
1. “Charlotte Corday’s Gendered Terror: Femininity, Violence, and Domestic Peace in Sarah Pogson’s The Female Enthusiast,” Miranda Green-Barteet, University of Western Ontario
2. “Franklin’s Mail: Gun Trafficking and the Elisions of History,” Maria O’Malley, University of Nebraska, Kearney
3. “Political Theology and the Alternate Enlightenment in Blake and Husband,” Edward Simon, Lehigh University
4. “‘Walk upon water’: Equiano and the Globalizing Subject,” Denys Van Renen, University of Nebraska, Kearney
5. “‘Endeavoring to Turn Pirate’: Father Bombo and the Oriental American Revolution," Matthew Pangborn, Briar Cliff University
6. “The Orphaned Republic: The Global and the Local in Lutyens’s and Hütter’s The Life and Adventures of Nathan Moses Israel,” Leonard von Morzé, University of Massachusetts Boston

Friday, May 27, 2016: 2:10 – 3:30 pm
Session 11-C Transpacific Early America
Organized by the Society of Early Americanists

Chair: Hsuan L. Hsu, University of California Davis
1. “Seduction, Cannibalism, and Commerce in the Revolutionary Pacific,” Michelle Burnham, Santa Clara University
2. “Noble Savage, Sexuality and the Lapérouse Expedition in the Pacific,” Chunjie Zhang, University of California Davis
3. “Slavery in the Pacific: The Startling Case of Sui Sin Far’s Mother,” Mary Chapman, University of British Columbia

Friday, May 27, 2016: 5:10 – 6:30 pm
Session 14-A  Round Table on Teaching Early American Literature
Organized by the Society of Early Americanists

Chair: Kathleen Donegan, University of California Berkeley
1. “Experiencing and Representing a New World: Community Engagement in the Early American Classroom,” Keri Holt, Utah State University
2. “Living in Native Space: Using Google Maps to Build a Sense of Place,” John J. Kucich, Bridgewater State University
3. “Incorporating Digital Archives into the Early American Literature Classroom,” David Lawrimore, Idaho State University
4. “Engaging the Non-Major with Early American Literature,” Lisa Smith, Pepperdine University
5. “Beyond Lyric Reading: Reimagining The Tuesday Club in the Age of Social Media,” Todd Barosky, St. Martin’s University
6. “Liberating the ‘Dead Girl’: The Social Work of Foster’s The Coquette and Flynn’s Gone Girl,” Anne Roth-Reinhardt, University of Minnesota

Professor Len von Morzé
Society of Early Americanists ALA Conference liaison, 2014-2016
Department of English

University of Massachusetts Boston
TWO REMINDERS for participants in the SEA sponsored sessions at the ALA Conferences:
-- The SEA does ask each person on an SEA Sponsored Session to be a current member of our organization. If your paper is accepted and you are not yet an SEA member, we welcome you; please go to the SEA Membership page, here. Thank you!

-- Each presenter at the ALA needs to register for the conference, which you can do by consulting the ALA website at

Notes from the ALA conference website: The American Literature Association’s 27th annual conference will meet at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco on May 26-29, 2016 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend). The deadline for proposals is January 30, 2016. For further information, please consult the ALA website at or contact the conference director, Professor Alfred Bendixen of Princeton University at with specific questions. The conference fee covers the costs of the conference including the opening and closing receptions. It does not include any meals. All of those who are on the program are required to pre-register. For those who register before April 15, 2016, the pre-registration rate is $90 ($60 for Graduate Students, Independent Scholars, and Retired Faculty). After April 15, the conference fee becomes $100 ($75 for Graduate Students, Independent Scholars, and Retired Faculty). Registration Information for the conference will be available on the website in January. Individuals may register on line or mail in a check but please do NOT mail any checks until the registration form is posted. The website will list the program as soon as it is available–a draft should appear during the second week of March and the program will be updated and corrected until we go to press. Copies of the printed program will be available at the conference.

The Society of Early Americanists will be co-sponsoring the Special Topics Conference, “Translation and Transmission in the Early Americas”: The Fourth Early Americanist ‘Summit,’ University of Maryland and Washington DC, 2-5 June, 2016.


Continuing in the tradition of the First (Tucson, AZ, 2002), Second (Providence, RI, 2004), and Third (St. Augustine, FL, 2010) Early Ibero/Anglo Americanist Summits, this thematic conference on “Translation and Transmission in the Early Americas” will bring together scholars working in various languages and disciplines to exchange questions, ideas, research and teaching methods, and to promote comparative perspectives and cross-disciplinary dialogue in the study of the early Americas. 

For more general information about the conference, please visit the conference website:
For any questions, please contact: Allison Bigelow (U Virginia) and Ralph Bauer (U Maryland) bauerr@umd.eduThe event will be co-sponsored by the Society of Early Americanists (SEA), The Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture (OIEAHC), The Kislak Family Foundation, the Early Americas Working Group (Washington DC), the Mexican Cultural Institute (MCI), the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), and the University of Maryland. Program Committee: Allison Bigelow (U Virginia), Ralph Bauer (U Maryland), Alejandra Dubcovsky (Yale), Patrick Erben (U West Georgia), Luis Fernando Restrepo (U Arkansas), Carlos Jauregui (Notre Dame). 

Image Credit: Images courtesy of Steve Salpukas, College of William & Mary and John Carter Brown Library at Brown University; Third image: [Ten commandments], Pedro Ocharte, Doctrina christiana en la lengua Guasteca co[n] la lengua castellana, 1571, John Carter Brown Library, used by permission.

Updated: 05/11/16